Local golfer in financial turmoil



The gentleman of the green, golfer Joe Nawanga is not giving up even though he has to dig deep into his pockets to fund himself.

The 35-year-old who is at the peak of his career has not shied away from the fact that he is struggling financially.

“I have to drive by road to other countries to compete in events such as the Swazi Open, Royal Swazi Open and the Kings Cup Open, because I do not have a sponsor,” said Nawanga.

When he was contracted by MTC back in 2004, Nawanga had financial security to compete internationally but this only lasted five years.

He added that now it is even going to be very difficult since he has been invited to the Zimbabwean Open next month as well as to the Royal Swazi Open slated in May due to lack of funds.

Nawanga calls on any Good Samaritan or any private company to assist him financially in order to compete in this year’s golf competitions.

Also invited to the Zambian Open later this year, Nawanga said the travelling expenses to and from the events and accommodation are unbearable as his personal savings are steadily shrinking.

“I have been driving to and from events and still doing it.

But, I would appreciate it if any company came on board to assist,” stressed Nawanga.

He further stated that golf has been and still is his passion, as he is dedicated to the game despite the financial woes he is currently experiencing.

Born at Liyale Village in Oniipa Constituency in the Oshikoto Region, he won 17 amateur tournaments including two Namibian opens when he represented Namibia at the Zone Six from 1998 to 2001, respectively.

His achievement as a professional golfer include, amongst others, his seventh position in the Botswana Open in 2005, top 17th position in the Namibian PGA and he made several cuts on the Sunshine Tour. In 2008 on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit Nawanga was 121st.

He scooped two awards recently during the Gijima AST Pro-AM in Mpumalanga Nelspruit and the Kings Cup Tournament in Swaziland.

“As much as these achievements are remarkable, the lack of funds makes it extremely difficult for me to afford participating at international levels.

Although, the game is relatively expensive, there is a strong need for golf to be exposed to the less privileged communities at the grassroots level.

I am sure in many of our children, the talent of golf is hidden somewhere,” he stressed.

Nawanga now trains at the Windhoek Country Club Golf Course in preparation of the upcoming events in Zimbabwe and Swaziland.